Press Conference with Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu on China's Role between Iran and the West (Excerpts)

June 13, 2006

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Q: What message will President Hu convey to the Iranian President when they meet?

A: Iran is an SCO observer. According to the SCO documents and on the basis of consensus of member states, China invited the Iranian President to attend the summit. During the summit, President Hu will hold talks with leaders of member states and observers. Arrangements are yet to be finalized.

We think there is a new opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue peacefully through diplomatic negotiation. China appreciates the fact that Iran expressed its intention to earnestly consider the proposal, and hopes Iran will respond positively and create favorable condition for resuming the negotiation. Only when we resume dialogue can we resolve differences. China hopes all parties can keep patience, exercise restraint and do more to help resume negotiation.

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Q: Some US experts questioned the authority of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, because this organization, which proclaims itself as an anti-terrorist organization, granted observer status to Iran. What comment does China have? Will Iran become a full member of SCO?

A: The SCO Summit will be held in Shanghai. On the sideline of the summit, the heads of states will exchange views on the development of the SCO and the major international and regional issues of common interest. The summit will also make a thorough review of the success and experience in the development of SCO and work out the orientation and measures for its future development.

Iran is one of the four observer countries of SCO. According to the documents of SCO and through consensus of member states, China invited Iranian President Ahmadinejad to the summit. This is not the first time for Iran to attend the SCO meeting. Last year, Iran attended the Astana Summit and Moscow Prime Ministers' Meeting.

Q: The three EU countries, the US and Russia may have direct negotiation with Iran on the Iranian nuclear issue. Will China join in the negotiation?

A: China has always stood for peaceful solution of the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiation. We are supportive of the international non-proliferation regime and oppose proliferation of nuclear weapons. We do not wish to see new disturbance in the Middle East due to the Iranian nuclear issue. We have always called on the parties concerned to put forward a solution both feasible and acceptable to all, so as to promote the talks on the issue. China has all along stayed in close contact with the parties concerned on the issue. Recently, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao respectively made telephone conversations with US President Bush and German Federal Chancellor Merkel. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing made telephone conversations with Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki, EU High Representative of Common Foreign and Security Policy Solana and the Spanish Foreign Minister. In addition, he met with Iranian Vice Foreign Minister Araqchi, who came to China for consultation. China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting reconciliation through talks. We will work with other parties for the proper solution of the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiation.

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